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Planted tsnk noobie needing CO2 advice

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by R.Anestis, Jun 17, 2015.

  1. R.Anestis

    R.Anestis Subscriber

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    Hi all. I have a 180 gallon w/fuge set up underneath. Before everyone does eyerolls about the fuge- I'm a noobie to planted tanks & followed advice of a well known & respected LFS. That was before I had found the veritable encyclopedia that is the Barr report. Having said that, I'd like to make lemonade out of lemons at this point and keep what I have.


    My most pressing problem at the moment is getting a measurable amount of co2 in the tank. I've been running a Redsea pro system for several months, and the drop checker has never indicated a change, nor have the plants, fish, or algea levels. Then I recently found out that that system is only supposed to be for tanks up to 125g...


    So my questions are:


    1) what is the best/most accurate measure of co2 level.


    2) what diffusion method/reactor would handle the size tank I have? I was thinking about the CarbonDoser EXT5000, but not convinced after some reading on the subject.


    Any thoughts/advice appreciated.


    -Ron
     
  2. kb27973

    kb27973 Guest

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    Hi Ron,


    I'm in the setup stages and just went through much investigation on CO2. I have a 150g and bought 2 of the CarbonDoser units (you will definitely need more than one). I think they are great. I use a pH probe in the tank for constant measurement and get CO2 value from chart. I can get the pH down to where I need in about 90 minutes. Room for improvement I think. Still trying to figure out the best way to keep it at the proper level... I've also used drop checkers. The downside to them is they lag by a couple of hours.


    Ken
     
  3. Christophe

    Christophe Subscriber
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    Use a pH probe to monitor pH drop. Drop checkers are very slow-reacting, and depending on placement and tank lighting, the drop checker can be hard to see the color well.


    As far as I know, there's no specifically marketed diffuser/reactor suitable for larger tanks -- check the many threads here about Cerges reactors, made from home water filter housings.
     
  4. R.Anestis

    R.Anestis Subscriber

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    Hi Ken and thanks for replying. A question regarding the two reactor setup you have- do you run two bubble counters, one before each reactor? Or do you tee into two lines after one bubble counter?
     
  5. kb27973

    kb27973 Guest

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    I have a regulator from Green Leaf Aquariums (they get a thumbs up too) and it has a separate bubble counter for each reactor. I'm going to try to upload a pic.. You can add as many 'blocks' as you have places to run CO2, pretty cool as each has it's own bubble counter and needle valve (white knob under bubble counter).




    View attachment 9274

    regulator.jpg
     
  6. R.Anestis

    R.Anestis Subscriber

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    Wow! So much nicer than the RedSea system I have. I have a feeling I'll end up with one of those...


    Yet another question to any and all regarding IstaMax reactors: another possibility I'm considering is installing two of their large reactors (one for each return line.) Any thoughts as to their effectiveness in a tank of this size? (~210gal total {tank+fuge}).


    -Ron
     
  7. alanle

    alanle Prolific Poster

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    Try custom CO2 regulators. You pay less but better quality.
     
  8. Solcielo lawrencia

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    Don't waste your money on the MixMax. DIY PVC pipe reactor is cheaper and more effective.
     
  9. R.Anestis

    R.Anestis Subscriber

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    Don't waste your money on the MixMax. DIY PVC pipe reactor is cheaper and more effective.


    Thanks for the input. I thought they looked a little cheaply made. I'll probably either do as you suggest, or go with a couple CarbonDoser units.
     
  10. R.Anestis

    R.Anestis Subscriber

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    Thanks for the input. I thought they looked a little cheaply made. I'll probably either do as you suggest, or go with a couple CarbonDoser units
     
  11. Solcielo lawrencia

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    I don't recommend the CarbonDoser, either. The location of the pump creates a vacuum which creates negative chamber pressure. You need positive pressure or the gas goes undissolved and a gas pocket quickly forms. It is pressure that diffuses CO2 (and other gasses) into the water, not contact time.
     
  12. R.Anestis

    R.Anestis Subscriber

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    Would you have or know of good photos/diagrams if a diy pvc reactor?
     
  13. Solcielo lawrencia

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    These are the minimum items needed to create a PVC reactor without inlet for CO2:


    2" x 3/4" PVC bushing (spigot x fNPT)


    2" x 12" PVC pipe


    2" x 2" x 3/4" PVC threaded tee (socket x socket x fNPT)


    2" PVC plug


    5/8" barb x 3/4" mNPT tube fitting adapter (qty=2)


    Use the barb size of your tubing. PVC diameter and length can be larger; fittings must match.
     
    #13 Solcielo lawrencia, Jun 20, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 20, 2015
  14. Solcielo lawrencia

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    Parts mistake. The 2" x 3/4" PVC bushing is supposed to be a 2" slip x 3/4" threaded reducer coupling.
     
  15. Mooner

    Mooner Lifetime Charter Member
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    Here is a 2" Barr CO2 reactor design that is currently in use. Made this unit 6+ years ago. Reactor is driven by Eheim 2213 on 20L.





    CO2 in(top of pic) Air bleed(bottom of pic)





    Here is the same unit HOB used years ago


    You will have to scale up for your size tank. The design is the same.

    View attachment 9282

    View attachment 9283

    View attachment 9284

    CO2%20reactor%201.jpg

    CO2%20reactor%202.jpg

    TopHOBReactor1-1.jpg
     
    #15 Mooner, Jun 26, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 26, 2015
  16. R.Anestis

    R.Anestis Subscriber

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    Thanks Mooner! As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. I may try putting one of these together in the near future if I can find the clear pvc in 4" (or maybe 6"?) reasonably priced.


    -Ron
     
  17. Solcielo lawrencia

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    Unless you have a 1000 gallon tank, 4" is excessively large and expensive. 3" is max for most tanks.. The purpose of the larger inner diameter is to slow the water velocity. Too narrow and the flow remains high which causes gas to be carried out with the flow.
     
  18. Mooner

    Mooner Lifetime Charter Member
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    The Cerges reactors are around 4" diameter?
     
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